Author: Sam Ezersky and Byron Walden
Time Allotment: 45 minutes
Time Left: 2 minutes (+50)
Errors: 2 (-50)
Correct Words: 125 (+1250) (out of 128)
Final Score: 1250
There are few things I enjoy more than spending my Sunday doing a crossword puzzle with a cup of coffee. Today was certainly no exception, and while I didn't luuuuv the theme it was highly enjoyable.
As for starting .... I have to admit it was slow. ALPO is always a safe bet but I quickly abandoned the upper left for the very random 9 - 14 Down. SATNAV has become a commonly identifiable answer, and DEMI, OMEN, ADORE, TRIDENT, DARENT, and EDGED. were also safe bets. I had no idea about the Garth Brooks song so I hoped that it would take care of itself (which it did). SMASHINGPUMPKINS and OUTSTANDINGBILLS were the first themed answers I filled in. I had to check the puzzle name to make sure 'band name' wasn't specifically called out, as I've never heard of smashing pumpkins outside of that context. I had never heard of RADICALMOVEMENT but again, the Crossword gods were smiling on me. The two middle themes had me stuck the longest, PASTICCIO was a ???? for me and was not helping with crosses, had BERG before BRIG but couldn't think of a E_CER kitchen tool (confession: still no idea what a BRIG is). Also wanted OSSIFER before CLASSIFICATION came to me in a moment of brilliance (put intended).
As for the bottom left ... I will say that I had tricked myself into AMSPEREE actually saying AMSPHERE (as though that's much better). I had no idea about Whitney's record label and NONEGOS still doesn't seem like a real word. As for other real words, I refuse to believe JARTS is neither DARTS nor JORTS (which could also be banned). All in all though, great puzzle and a great way to spend a Sunday.